Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

Assaulting the Institute has been set irrevocably in motion. All able bodied field agents are already en route here. If we abandon our HQ right now our people, our family, will be walking into certain death.Desdemona

Rockets' Red Glare is a Railroad main quest and an achievement/trophy in Fallout 4.

Quick walkthrough

Railroad main quest: Rockets' Red Glare
Meet Tinker Tom outside Cambridge Police Station.
Kill everyone inside the Cambridge Police Station.
Head up to the roof.
Defend the Vertibird while Tom gets it running.
Ride the Vertibird to the Prydwen.
Head to the top of the main deck.
Plant the 3 bombs on the Prydwen's gas bags.
Return to the vertibird and escape.
Watch the fireworks.
Return to Desdemona.
Reward: 500+ XP
Leads to: The Nuclear Option (Railroad)

Detailed walkthrough

After receiving some explosive charges from Deacon, board the Vertibird. There will be voiceover banter between Deacon and Tinker Tom as the latter flies the Vertibird to the Prydwen. After initially only getting the aircraft to spin, Tom proceeds towards the Prydwen. There is nothing much to do here except watch the Commonwealth scenery go by and occasionally pick away at targets with the onboard minigun. Eventually the Vertibird will dock with the flight deck of the Prydwen. From this point there are three options for accomplishing the task:


Deacon gives the Sole Survivor a BOS uniform prior to boarding the vertibird. If worn when landing, the inhabitants of the Prydwen will not be hostile on arrival, however if the player character encounters any leaders of the Brotherhood they will challenge the player character's purpose. This requires the player character to pass difficult dialogue persuasion checks to avoid turning the Brotherhood NPCs hostile. There is also a "double infiltration with Deacon" technique. If Deacon is the player character's companion he will not give them the BoS uniform, but will instead wear it himself as a disguise and will sit in a different part of the Vertibird. If the player character has both Deacon as a companion and equips a BoS uniform before boarding the Vertibird, then Deacon will participate in the infiltration on the Prydwen. At least one BoS uniform should be available inside the police station or the front approach. Deacon reacts favorably to ("loves") most of the choices during the first persuasion check on the Prydwen. This is the most peaceful option and can be completed without taking any damage whatsoever. However, with this method the player character will never encounter Elder Maxson and therefore cannot obtain Maxson's battlecoat or Final Judgment.


It is theoretically possible to sneak all the way through the Prydwen without being challenged or directly attacked, though the Brotherhood NPCs will still become hostile at some point during the mission.


If the Brotherhood uniform is not worn, all Brotherhood personnel in the area will immediately be hostile after disembarking from the Vertibird and throughout the mission.

Brotherhood personnel will be armed with laser weaponry. There will also be several adversaries wearing Brotherhood T-60 power armor.

If the player character is not using the Brotherhood uniform, there will be a large amount of incoming fire at the start since the Brotherhood personnel on the ground will also open fire along with the people on the flight deck. There is usually at least one knight in power armor on the flight deck as well.

Go through the door at the end of the deck to enter the command deck. There will be less NPCs here and none in power armor. With a careful approach it may be possible to eliminate/avoid all of them without alerting them to the Sole Survivor's presence. The next target is a ladder/hatch to the main deck.

There is a power armored guard at the top of the ladder who will have to be dealt with almost immediately if the NPCs are hostile. This section of the Prydwen has the bulk of the Brotherhood personnel, so if they are hostile toward the player character there will be a lot of incoming fire and at least three power armored opponents. If the player character is infiltrating and their cover is not blown, this is also the most likely place to encounter NPCs that will interrogate them about their purpose. If the player character fights their way in or out, it will result in the deaths of several prominent Brotherhood NPCs.

In either case, the player character needs to make their way up two levels by using the stairways at the sides of the catwalks. The third level should be a central walkway that goes between three large oval structures. These are the gas bags. Each one has a red operating console in the center on the port side of the railing. Walking up and activating each one will set the explosive charges.

Once one has placed the charges, they can choose to continue with the undercover operation and exit the Prydwen without hostilities if they succeeded in avoiding detection or raising insurmountable suspicions by any Brotherhood NPCs. If the Brotherhood turns hostile, then one must run or fight their way back to the hatch to the command deck. If the Brotherhood has turned hostile then, unless he was somehow encountered elsewhere, when the player character emerges onto the command deck, Elder Maxson, if not killed earlier in the game, will be waiting along with some other opponents. He will be armed with Final Judgment and may have others with him using Gatling lasers. Proceed to the flight deck.

No new NPCs should have spawned on the flight deck if they were eliminated earlier, however if the player character snuck in, then they will now be hostile. Fight, sneak or run past them to the Vertibird. Once the player character activates the option to get onto the Vertibird, Tinker Tom will begin taking off. More NPCs will spawn on the ground at this point and the amount of incoming fire will increase by quite a bit. The Vertibird cannot be shot down but the player character can still take damage from the incoming fire.

After the Vertibird undocks and flies away for a minute or so, Tinker Tom will announce that they are far enough away and will ignite the charges. The resulting detonation should eliminate all remaining hostile Brotherhood NPCs from the area. Tinker Tom will fly to the area of Nordhagen Beach and tell the player character to disembark so he can stash the Vertibird.

Finishing the quest requires speaking to Desdemona, who has returned to Railroad HQ. Once the Sole Survivor speaks with her, The Nuclear Option will begin.

Quest stages

Quest stages
StageStatusDescriptionLog Entry
300 Secure the Old North Church
400 Talk with Desdemona
600 (Optional) Light the signal lanterns
800 Talk to Desdemona
1100 Fly to the Prydwen
1200 Plant explosivesWe actually made it aboard the Prydwen. Now it's my job to place explosive charges on the Prydwen's gas bags. After that, I need to get back to our stolen vertibird and fly to a safe distance so we can remotely detonate it.
1300 Escape the PrydwenThe explosives are placed, now I just need to make it back to the stolen vertibird so Tinker Tom can get us to a safe distance. Then we trigger the explosives and watch the Prydwen go up like a candle.
1400Quest finishedTalk to DesdemonaThe Prydwen is no more. The Brotherhood of Steel's presence in the Commonwealth is effectively over. Now I just need to report back to Desdemona.


  • This is the second time the line from "The Star Spangled Banner" has been an achievement in the Fallout series, with an achievement of the same name in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Lonesome Road related to the weapon, Red Glare.
  • If one has completed the quest Duty or Dishonor and convinced Clarke to turn himself in, he will be in the prison cells of the police station. The player character can free him by picking the Novice lock on his cell door and he will run away.
  • After completing this mission, speaking with Drummer Boy will unlock the ability to call a Vertibird via signal grenade.
  • Many Brotherhood NPCs will state random lines, often as one walks by them, mentioning the player character's rank in the Brotherhood of Steel as if they were still a member of the organization and not an enemy of it. This dialogue occurs despite successful efforts to disguise the player character's identity.
  • Companions are "soft dismissed" after planting all three bombs so they can't be commanded to stay on the Prydwen. This can allow some companions flagged as non-essential to be killed.


  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 Xbox OneXbox One Sometimes, after boarding the Vertibird, it will fly off straight to the southeast or north without stopping, bringing you off map. Seems to be linked to the "Escape the Prydwen" quest flag, which wasn't 'checked off' during bug when encountered, this may also happen if the Prydwen hasn't arrived due to leaving Fort Hagen through the wrong exit.[verified]
  • PCPC When attempting to get back onto the Vertibird to escape the Prydwen after planting the explosives, occasionally the animation will not trigger and it will become impossible to select the Vertibird to board it. [verified]
    • It may be fixed by moving to the correct distance from the Vertibird, as the animation doesn't trigger if the player character is too close to the Vertibird.
    • Alternatively, entering and exiting the Prydwen can fix the problem.
  • PCPC Using a weapon with the legendary 'Kneecapper' effect against the attacking Vertibird will instantly destroy both of the flyer's turbines but at the same time make it impossible to destroy completely. The Vertibird will then tumble around erratically for some moments before resuming its attack indefinitely, thus preventing the mission from progressing to the next stage. Use any other available weapon to avoid this bug.[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 Xbox OneXbox One When dropping off the player character towards the end of the quest after the Prydwen explodes, Tinker Tom may be shot down by remaining Brotherhood scribes. This will cause The Nuclear Option (Railroad) to fail and Desdemona will only repeat the line "Don't wait too long. The Brotherhood could be back in here any minute," making the quest impossible to complete. This can be fixed by reloading an older save and killing remaining Brotherhood members before they can shoot down Tom.[verified]
    • This bug can also be fixed by typing the console command setstage RR303 1300.
  • PCPC Xbox OneXbox One A glitch may occur if Deacon is wearing power armor where he won't board the Vertibird. To fix this load a previous save where you are not on the Vertibird and travel away from the location. When you travel back he should be on the Vertibird.[verified]
  • PCPC Xbox OneXbox One Playstation 4Playstation 4 Companions might die during this quest.[verified]
  • Playstation 4Playstation 4 Companions may hate you randomly during the animation of the Prydwen crashing.[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 When speaking with a Brotherhood squire during this quest, dialogue will not load properly leading to long pauses with the Sole Survivor and the squire looking at each other with occasional dialogue options out of context being presented.[verified]
  • Playstation 4Playstation 4 A companion may become uncommandable due to being occupied trying to kill a child Brotherhood scribe (who is invincible).[verified]